Catherine Ryan Hyde Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 25 published and forthcoming books, including the bestselling When I found You, Pay It Forward, Don't Let Me Go, and Take Me With You.

           

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A Call for Submissions

Catherine Ryan Hyde

My friend Misty Miller came to me recently with an idea for a possible anthology, and asked if I'd be willing to work with her to make it happen. I say "possible" because what is really guaranteed in this business? Still, if we get great stories/essays, I'm thinking there will be some way of getting them out to be read.

Here's what we're thinking. Misty, if I don't get this right, let me know, and I'll post any further thoughts you might have as a follow-up to this announcement.

We're looking for true stories from people who feel they've tasted the sting of prejudice. Anyone who feels they have not been accepted for who and what they are. Stories of racial and LGBT discrimination are of course welcome. But we are looking for a full spectrum. For example, if we use a story about an LGBT community member who feels the Christian community hates him (or her), I'd also like a story from a Christian who feels they are vilified for their religious beliefs, which may include an aversion to the LGBT community.

Get the idea? Hopefully it will add up to a look at how all of us want to be accepted for who we are, and how all of us feel we have been denied that right for any one of a number of reasons.

I even have a friend who has a pit bull who is very sensitive to criticism. He's very sweet and friendly, but people say horrible things to him when she's walking him down the street. Because he's a pit bull. And he's so hurt by it that he wants to stop and hold her hand until he gets over it enough to walk again. I've asked her to submit Tucker's story of prejudice. These are the types of things I'm particularly interested in, as they are more off the beaten path. But any take on the subject matter is welcome.

Not all submissions can or will be accepted, of course, and we hope you won't take it personally. We'll be looking to balance out our subject matter in a delicate way, so any rejections will be subjective and quite possibly no reflection on you, your story, or your ability to tell it.

There are still a lot of questions as to how this will play out. If we don't get enough of the right stories, I guess there will be no anthology, and it'll have to go on record as one of those "nothing ventured, nothing gained" kind of efforts. If we do, we may be able to place it with an established publisher, or we may choose the independent route. Or maybe there's even another way to distribute the stories that doesn't involve book format. But the first step is to see if we can get the stories.

So, if you want to take that on, please submit them directly to me by email. ryanhyde (at) cryanhyde (dot) com. Length-wise, about 1,000 to 1,500 words will probably give it the best chance of fitting in, but no hard and fast rules until we see how it's working out. We probably won't be able to pay writers for their stories because we probably won't get paid much ourselves. But, as I keep saying, everything is still fairly fluid at this point.

Misty, did I leave anything out? Anything you want to add?

So...bring it on.